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Four close relatives suspected of involvement in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Karachi's Bhittaiabad area earlier this week have been arrested.

Police came to know of the incident on Tuesday night when an uncle of the minor girl brought her dead to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Medico-legal officer Dr Zakia Khurshid told the media on Tuesday night that the girl had been sexually assaulted and her body bore marks of torture and cigarette burns. She also said that the girl was strangled.

The incident took place within the limits of the Sachal police station, and on Wednesday, East Zone SSP (Investigation) Abid Qaimkhani visited the victim's house, the scene of the crime.

The SSP had said that the girl’s father died about one and a half years ago and since then she had been living at her uncle’s house in Bhittaiabad in Gulistan-i-Jauhar. An elder sister of the victim is married to their uncle’s son.

He said that the girl was beaten with a steel pipe and that police had recovered it, adding that they had found significant clues. Subsequently, four to five close relatives of the victim had been taken into custody for questioning.

The SSP said that one of the detained suspects had ‘confessed’ to have beaten her but the police were investigating the matter to determine the identity of the suspect who subjected her to criminal assault.

SSP Qaimkhani said that Sachal police had registered a First Information Report against four nominated suspects on the complaint of the victim’s brother who had arrived from Jacobabad. The case has been registered under Sections 302, 376 and 34 of Pakistan Penal Code.

Three of the nominated suspects were arrested by Wednesday night, while a fourth absconding suspect was arrested today (Thursday). Among those arrested are the victim's brother-in-law and his younger brother.

Investigation Officer Sub-Inspector Ahmed Ali Shah told DawnNewsTV that DNA samples have been taken from the suspects and the victim in order to ascertain the identity of the person who assaulted her.

The victim's brother has taken her body back to the family's native residence in Qambar Shahdadkot for burial.